(Bowling Green)—For the entire month of June, the Wood County Humane Society (WCHS) will be offering a two-for-fifty special adoption fee for all cats and kittens to help alleviate shelter overcrowding.
In May, the WCHS took in 55 cats and kittens, nearly double the usual number of intake requests that the shelter receives on a monthly basis. The shelter’s freeroaming cat room currently houses over 70 cats, even though it can only reasonably handle about 50. The WCHS also has almost 30 kittens in foster care and those kittens will soon need to return to the shelter. And on a daily basis the shelter is being hard hit with requests to take in owner surrenders, strays, and kittens.
Shelter Manager Erin McKibben says that the current overcrowding “is not a problem that is exclusive to our shelter.” She explains, “A lot of shelters experience this boom in population known as ‘kitten season.’ Kitten season was prolonged a little this year due to the harsh winter, but then it exploded on us all at once.”
Spring is known as “kitten season” because warmer weather means more strays roaming freely and more cats in heat. Those two factors combined lead to a dramatic increase in the number of kittens born during the spring and summer months, and the number of felines that are brought into shelters.
Spring and summer also typically are slow adoption months for shelters like the WCHS. McKibben hopes that the two-for-fifty adoption event will encourage community members to adopt in record numbers, thereby alleviating some of the stresses that have resulted from the current high feline population in the shelter and allowing the animals to find their forever homes much more quickly.
Shelter overcrowding can exacerbate existing problems in a shelter population, as well as introduce new ones, says McKibben. Within the shelter population, overcrowding can cause some behavioral issues that had not been present previously, such as marking outside of the litterbox and fighting. Staff and volunteer responsibilities also increase exponentially. Specifically, the current high population of felines translates to more cleaning, more laundry, and more dishes on a daily basis.
This special adoption event corresponds with national “Adopt a Shelter Cat” month. June has been designated “Adopt a Shelter Cat” month because it marks the prime breeding season for cats when thousands of newborn kittens will join the millions of cats already housed in shelters across the country, according to the American Humane Association.
Adoption hours at the shelter, which is located at 801 Van Camp Road, Bowling Green, are Wednesday and Thursday from 12 to 7 p.m. and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. All adoptions include the spay or neuter of the cat, distemper and rabies vaccines, FIV/FeLV test, microchip, and free physical examination at local participating veterinarians. In order to receive the special adoption fee of two cats for $50 (or one cat for $50), adoptions must be completed same day.
The WCHS, located in Bowling Green, Ohio, is a full-service, no-kill shelter providing care for homeless and abused pets and investigating cruelty complaints in Wood County. In addition, the organization assists Wood County residents with its Safe Haven and food assistance programs, spay/neuter transport, and educational presentations. The WCHS provides care for hundreds of animals each year—from dogs and cats, to horses, goats, and pocket pets. The non-profit organization is funded predominantly through donations from local individuals and businesses, Community Shares of Northwest Ohio (a workplace giving campaign), and fundraisers. The Wood County Commissioners help fund a Humane Agent, but the organization receives no additional funding from national humane organizations, the United Way, or the government. For more information on adopting and/or volunteering, see: http://www.woodcountyhumanesociety.org.